PARIS – Renault will this year seek to maintain market share gains made in 2010 in a less-than-robust climate in Europe, especially in France, said Jerome Stoll, the automaker's head of sales and marketing.
“Last year, European market sales fell 3 to 4 percent but Renault's market share rose in the region 6 to 7 percent,” Stoll said.
Renault will “consolidate” its position in Europe this year, Stoll told Automotive News Europe in a telephone interview. “In 2011, we will seek to maintain our share in Europe,” he said.
Renault expects its sales in Europe to vary according to country this year with lower overall volumes in France, its largest market. The company is not expecting to see growth in France following a run up in sales last year as consumers benefited from government incentives that ended December 31 to trade in old car models for new ones. “The French market will contract the most,” Stoll said.
Renault expects total industry new car sales to be flat or to shrink by 2 percent in Europe this year.
Strong first half
Stoll said the first half of 2011 should be “strong” as last year's new model launches and stronger commercial van sales should continue to maintain last year's momentum.
Last year, Renault and its Dacia low-cost brand sold 1.41 million cars, achieving a 10.2 percent market share in the EU and EFTA countries, up from 9.3 percent in 2009, according to industry association ACEA.
Renault brand sales grew 3.4 percent to 1.15 million, with its market share rising to 8.3 percent, up from 7.7 percent in 2009. Dacia sales rose by 10.2 percent to 262,777, resulting in a 1.9 percent market share, up from 1.6 percent.
EVs and global growth
Announcing its 2010 volume results on Jan. 10, Renault said with the global market in 2011 expected to grow by more than 4 percent, the automaker will pursue its growth in markets outside Europe.
“In 2011 we will be pursuing two main thrusts ¬- to step up our international expansion through all the brands and to launch our range of electric vehicles in the second half of the year,” Stoll said in a statement on Jan. 10.
Helped by growth in Europe and a rebound in emerging markets, Renault group sales, including Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, rose 14 percent to 2.6 million last year, beating a previous record year in 2005.
Renault expects sales outside Europe to be about 43 percent of its total for 2011, up from 37 percent now.
Renault will launch three EVs in Europe this year -- the Fluence sedan, Kangoo delivery van and the two-seat Twizy.